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The supply chain management landscape across the NHS is evolving, and innovative technologies are behind the momentous change sweeping the sector.
Nicola Hall, managing director at Ingenica Solutions (www.ingenicasolutions.com) explains.
The healthcare supply chain has evolved considerably from the time the NHS was founded more than 60 years ago, and is set to develop at an equally rapid pace in the future. The early days of the NHS in the late 1940s and early 1950s are a far cry from the organisation, which has since grown into the world’s largest publicly funded health service we know today. Increasing demands and expectations on services, alongside radical medical and technological breakthroughs, changes to care delivery, and reorganisation, have seen the NHS immensely change, particularly in recent years.
Despite unprecedented challenges, especially financial, the NHS is incredibly successful in finding better and new ways to work to respond to today’s patients. Take supply chain operations and inventory management for instance, as the need for change is increasingly recognised by healthcare professionals across the board; there has never been a better time to understand exactly what, where and how the NHS is buying, and who the products are being used on in a bid to identify opportunities to attack costs and improve patient care.
Lexacom revolutionises Speech Recognition with the launch of Lexacom Echo
Stepping up supply chain operations
Despite the NHS’s world-class status, it has historically run on an inefficient and broken supply chain; a system which has been subject to enormous growth. From medical device suppliers and distributors, to individual hospitals, expansion has been vast and created a more complex supply chain than at any other point in time.
Processes that worked years ago though appropriate at the time, have remained in use, unchallenged. Supply chain operations have therefore become inadequate, inefficient and costly, with many hospitals at different levels of supply chain maturity.
It has also resulted in the healthcare sector falling significantly behind its commercial counterparts which have experienced major improvements to their procurement and supply chain management.
Historically, supplies replacement was through a paper requisition process and some hospitals had central stores for commonly required products. In an aim to create efficiencies the NHS introduced electronic requisitioning, and removed central stores in favour of a “self-serve” approach. Some hospitals in the UK today still operate paper-based requisitioning. Whilst electronic requisitioning solved a lot of issues and saved money, it did not solve all issues and in its own right caused many of the inefficiencies in today’s supply chain.
The first and most vital step to improvement of the overall supply chain is the introduction of inventory management. This is reflected by the increasing number of hospitals currently implementing inventory management technology. Often projects begin in the highest spend areas, operating theatres; North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, and Taunton NHS Trust have already derived proven and audited positive outcomes as well as early cost-savings reaching the millions. These are showcase examples, and illustrate how efficient and effective solutions can really, and practically, improve outcomes.
With pressure mounting to reduce costs, and in light of the Government’s target NHS efficiency savings of £10 billion a year by 2020, inventory management is emerging as the most powerful and realistic method to help trusts achieve significant savings.
Another trend that may emerge soon is managed services for inventory management, so whilst this area is often looked after by the hospitals, a move to managed services is likely to create greater efficiencies, operationally and financially.
The state of NHS procurement and supply chain activity has regularly come under fire but what’s important to remember here is that old habits are gradually being diminished to make way for improved practices. The investment in innovative technologies today has a positive impact not only on our NHS now but also in the future. The healthcare supply chain can be a world class operation, and is showing clear signs that it is on its way to becoming so with new technologies.
For more information about Ingenica Solutions please visit www.ingenicasolutions.com or call on 0845 0660 100.
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The healthcare supply chain: a world class operation.
Oldham CCG and TRUSTECH spearhead healthcare challenge.
01204 417 247
NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group (Oldham CCG) is ahead of all CCGs in the innovation adoption lifecycle. At the forefront of discovering new and better ways of working, it boasts an enviable history of introducing new technologies and services to improve patient care.
“The adoption of new innovations that have a positive impact on patients’ health, whilst remaining cost effective, are key to the longevity, viability, and ultimately the success of our services. Innovation is high on our agenda, and to ensure we exploit all angles, we engaged a specialist organisation to keep us on track and explore new avenues,” explains Denis Gizzi, managing director at Oldham CCG.
NHS innovation experts, TRUSTECH, provide an indispensable and enviable link between NHS organisations and industry; Oldham CCG was confident that its multidisciplinary team would reveal new ideas that would otherwise have been off the CCG’s radar. “TRUSTECH is at the centre of all facets of healthcare innovation; it works exclusively in this area, and knows it inside out. They devised, managed and delivered an exciting and forward-thinking programme,” recalls Denis.
A Dragon’s Den style initiative to identify and evaluate innovations was proposed; a process that had not yet been transferred to the sector as Denis confirms, “Dragons’ Den is a well-known format in the commercial world, popularised by television. However, until this point, a CCG had never embraced it before, so the buzz surrounding this initiative was phenomenal.”
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Lexacom, the Home of Digital Dictation, continues to lead the dictation and document creation market with the launch of their brand new cloud based Speech Recognition solution. Available from the 16th March 2016, Lexacom Echo is destined to revolutionise Speech Recognition technology, delivering a new sophisticated solution available to anyone using Lexacom’s advanced digital dictation platform, Lexacom 3.
Lexacom are proud to announce that they have redefined the way in which customers can now access and use Speech Recognition. This new innovative solution has been designed to remove the many barriers traditionally associated with Speech Recognition and offers complete flexibility, accuracy and a high level of transparency with no upfront financial investment nor the need for any upgraded or expensive hardware. Lexacom Echo provides two modes for dictation allowing users to choose the most appropriate option for their needs. Accessed via Lexacom 3, the system offers deferred Speech Recognition as a standard service and, at the touch of a button, direct ‘live’ Speech Recognition compatible with any third party software.
Until now, one of the biggest barriers to using Speech Recognition has been the cost of buying the service; Lexacom Echo removes this barrier with its innovative approach to pricing. Occasional users can opt for a PAYG option where they only pay for what they use, with no minimum term or pre-payment, whereas more regular users can opt for a monthly subscription giving them unlimited use of the service. Lexacom also believes that customers should only pay for accurate transcription, and as such, PAYG customers will not be charged for any errors they may need to correct. In addition, profession-specific dictionaries are regularly updated within the system, providing full, accurate support for Medical, Legal and Business terminology. Lexacom Echo is compatible on any PC running Lexacom 3. All updates to the system are included in the charges and, on top of all of this, bespoke 1-2-1 training sessions are available to users ensuring they have the best experience from using the Lexacom Echo software.
Created under the Lexacom brand and developed at Lexacom’s head office in Banbury, Oxfordshire, Lexacom Echo is unique in the way it offers Speech Recognition and is changing industry standards. As with all of Lexacom’s services, it fully integrates with their digital dictation platform, Lexacom 3, with the latest version of the software, v3.10, being released alongside it.
Dr Andrew Whiteley, Managing Director comments “This is a very exciting time for Lexacom as we launch Lexacom Echo. We continually strive to offer the best solutions for our customers and Lexacom Echo represents a great step forward for professional Speech Recognition. I am delighted that we can give our customers the opportunity to find the most effective tools for them to create documents accurately, securely and efficiently – all from within Lexacom 3. We fully understand the constraints on our customers’ workloads and we continually work with them to provide solutions, such as Lexacom Echo, that will ease the pressures they are under”.
Lexacom 3 digital dictation platform is the only solution approved for use with all of the UK’s primary care clinical systems and integrates with third party Outsourced Transcription services (provided by trusted partners) and Docmail’s Print to Post services. Together with the Lexacom Mobile app, Lexacom offers the perfect end to end workflow solution for document creation. All features are designed to fully enhance and support the complete document workflow, from creation through to delivery, improving accuracy, efficiency and cost savings in the workplace.
For more information about Lexacom Echo, please contact the Customer Services team on 01295 236910 or on email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website https://www.lexacom.co.uk/our-products/lexacom-3/lexacom-echo/